First Church Summer Guidelines

Introduction to New “Summer” Guidelines

COVID Risks in Our Area, Nassau County:

  • COVID risks have dropped considerably in recent weeks.
  • On June 14, 2021, the overall risk for unvaccinated people is currently “moderate risk,” down from “extremely high”, “very high” and “high.”
  • Daily cases: 2 cases per 100,000 and 30 new daily cases. A 33 percent decrease from the average two weeks ago.[1] The test positivity rate has dropped below 1%.
  • We want to make sure to provide a protected and safe place: Please consider those who cannot receive a vaccine including babies, children, and people with auto-immune deficiencies, such as those receiving chemo treatments. They are our most vulnerable members and friends. We want to make sure they are protected and feel safe, but we also want to honor the science and math of actual risk. We also wish to use the honor system by asking the people who haven’t been vaccinated to please continue to wear a mask.

 

New “Summer” Guidelines

Entrance, tapes and signage:

  1. Continue to keep tapes and signage up in sanctuary for the summer months; this provides an additional level of protection and we do not expect to need extra seating until fall.
  2. The church door and the church office door will be opened. (Whyman Hall door remains closed). Please use the church office door if you are not comfortable to step up the stairs at the church door on Merrick Rd.
  3. Masks must be worn when entering and leaving the sanctuary and when moving around, but may be removed once we are seated. (As in restaurants)
  4. Please do not sit next to someone wearing a mask unless invited. The mask means they are being cautious. We expect some people will wear masks for a while for their own comfort and safety.
  5. Please do not come to church if you are sick. We will always have an online option.
  6. Usher continues to check attendants’ names for the records. Liturgist continues to take a photo of all attendees and send it to the church office.
  7. Use of windows and fans are at the discretion of the pastor and ushers.

 

Worship:

  1. We will continue to stay seated during worship except the Gospel reading.
  2. The offerings will continue, and people are encouraged to put all offerings in the offering baskets or mail them to the church.
  3. We will hold off on the following until at least fall: choir, passing of the peace (holding hands or hugs or shake hands) and indoor coffee hour.
  4. Usher wears a mask to bring the light to the altar and dismisses with the light.
  5. Children and youth will stay with their parents in the sanctuary.
  6. The media system will be used, but the microphones will not be shared.

(One for pastor, one for liturgist, and one for music accompanist.)

  1. Usher does not need to lead congregations to dismiss the sanctuary.
  2. When we do resume communion, it will be with individual premade cups rather than the common cup. Baptism will be the same policy as suggested by the New York Annual Conference.
  3. Online worship will continue indefinitely, so please choose the worship option you are most comfortable with.

 

Fellowship:

  1. We will begin to experiment with outdoor fellowship hours this summer (no masks required). We will start with sealed/pre-packed snacks and drinks.
     

Meetings and Bible Studies:

  1. Indoor meetings such as Bible Studies, Prayer meeting and other committee meetings:
    1. Online meetings or outside meetings are highly recommended.
    2. Rules and places (either online or/and in-person) are up to the group.
    3. If the group chooses an indoor meeting:
      1. if one person needs others to wear masks for their protection, all must wear masks even though you are vaccinated.
      2. Social distanced seating, open window for air circulations and cleaning process will be required.

 

Effective and Revisit all Rules:

  1. This updated policy will be effective from Sunday, June 20.
  2. We will revisit all rules on August 12 (Council meeting) and monthly thereafter, or immediately if conditions change.

 

Use of Building:

  1. Users need to continue to follow our rules (including submission of their names who attend their services)
  2. Users need to agree to our new summer rules and acknowledge that they can be changed at any time.
  3. Users are required to clean (sanitize) the space before and after use.

 

 

Thank you to the Church Council for a great discussion and for arriving at these conclusions together; Thank you to God for helping us to get through this crisis and begin to feel safe again!

 

 

 

 


[1] https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/nassau-new-york-covid-cases.html

 

 

 

 
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